In this book, Joy McCorriston examines the continuity of traditions over millennia in the Near East. Tracing the phenomenon of pilgrimage in pre-Islamic Arabia up through the development of the Hajj, she defines its essential characteristics and emphasizes the critical role that pilgrimage plays in enabling and developing socioeconomic transactions. Indeed, the social identities constructed through pilgrimage are key to understanding the long-term endurance of the phenomenon. In the second part of the book, McCorriston turns to the household, using cases of ancient households in Mesopotamian societies, both in the private and public spheres. Her conclusions tie together broader theoretical implications generated by the study of the two phenomena and offer a new paradigm for archaeological study, which has traditionally focused on transitions to the exclusion of continuity of traditions.